Ben Rackemann commenced the John Deere Graduate Program in January 2012 and he moved into his current position in March 2013 on completion of the program. He is now an Internal Territory Customer Support Manager for John Deere.
Do you have an agricultural background? Can you expand on your background?
I grew up on my family's peanut, watermelon and small grains farm in the North Burnett region of Queensland. Weekends and school holidays were spent helping my farther with a range of tasks which I still enjoy today when I have the opportunity to return.
What year level did you complete at high school?
After completing year 10 at my local high school I moved to St Luke's Anglican School in Bundaberg where I completed my final two years of schooling.
What did you study at university and what attracted you to this course?
I studied Mechanical Engineering and earned my bachelor's degree in 2011. I chose this course because I enjoy learning how things work, plus designing and manufacturing, all of which are a part of engineering. This along with good job prospects contributed to my decision to complete the course.
What made you want to apply for the graduate program?
There are many companies which offer graduate positions after university. However, after growing up on the land, I wanted the opportunity to apply my skills to the agricultural industry — an industry which I knew and was passionate about. With John Deere being a well-known and respected global company, the choice to apply for the graduate program was fairly simple.
What career opportunities exist for you within John Deere?
Future career opportunities with John Deere are very good. Currently I work in the Customer and Product Support department helping John Deere and its Dealers to support its customers and products. In the near future I see this as an area which I will continue to work, as I am able to successfully apply the skills I learnt through my studies and also those I developed growing up in the rural industry. However, if I did want to change roles or departments, the company is very willing to help achieve these goals. A great opportunity which John Deere provides is its ability and willingness to provide high quality training to its staff which often means the opportunities to travel both within Australia/New Zealand and also overseas to other John Deere facilities around the world.
What career opportunities exist for you outside of John Deere?
There are many job opportunities currently available to graduates of engineering degrees. These jobs are available in a range of industries. However, if I were to change roles I would like to move to another agricultural-based company. The future for young people in this industry is very positive as we face a growing demand to provide food, clothing and fuel to the world's growing population.